An experimental research program was undertaken to investigate the thermal stability and heat transfer characteristics of several hydrocarbon fuels under conditions that simulate high-pressure, rocket engine cooling systems. The rates of carbon deposition in heated copper and nickel-plated copper tubes were determined for RP-1, propane, and natural gas using a continuous flow test apparatus which permitted independent variation and evaluation of the effect on deposit formation of wall temperature, fuel pressure, and fuel velocity. In addition, the effects of fuel additives and contaminants, cryogenic fuel temperatures, and extended duration testing with intermittent operation were examined. Parametric tests to map the thermal stability characteristics of RP-1, commercial-grade propane, and natural gas were conducted at pressures of 6.9 to 13.8 MPa, bulk fuel velocities of 30 to 90 m/s, and tube wall temperatures in the range of 230 to 810 K. Also, tests were run in which propane and natural gas fuels were chilled to 230 and 160 K, respectively. Corrosion of the copper tube surface was detected for all fuels tested. Plating the inside of the copper tubes with nickel reduced deposit formation and eliminated tube corrosion in most cases. The lowest rates of carbon deposition were obtained for natural gas, and the highest rates were obtained for propane. For all fuels tested, the forced-convection heat transfer film coefficients were satisfactorily correlated using a Nusselt-Reynolds-Prandtl number equation.